——- A Weekend Adventure ——-
Walking around New York City in the heat of the summer can make you feel like gasping for air. Me and a few gals collectively agreed to pack our camping gear and set off on a weekend escape. All signs lead to Dippikill – an Adirondack Mountain wilderness retreat in Warrensburg, NY.
Planning went smoothly using a group chat. Who is bringing which essentials? You know, food, tequila, bug spray. Remember to pack warm clothes, and for kicks my friend said she would bring her pellet gun. Our packing list took a turn when we discovered on the camp’s web site that our cabin didn’t have electricity. After adding a flashlight, some head lamps and fire starters to our packing list we were set. We would drive up in two separate cars, with my group being the first to arrive.
It was 10 p.m. when we ascended the steep gravel road to the Dippikill camp. The person in the main office presented us with a xeroxed map of the retreat with lots of dotted lines and numbered boxes that represented the rustic cabins. He told us we’d find some wheelbarrows up the road in the parking lot to cart our gear into the woods to our cabin. “You’ll see signs,” he reassured us. The parking lot was pitch black. Our measly flashlight helped us site the large wheelbarrows and a sign that said “Twin Brooks” pointing in the direction of what appeared to be a black hole. We couldn’t see more than five feet in any direction and had no idea what or who was around us. As we rounded a bend in the path a group of people were huddled around a campfire. It appeared that their cabin had electricity. Oh well, missed that opportunity. They howled at us as a welcome to Dippikill and perhaps to ward off their fear of whatever mess we looked like pushing a wheelbarrow on a gravel road. We were not in New York City anymore.
By the time our other friends arrived we had a campfire going outside and a fire inside the cabin’s wood stove, which was our warmth through the night. A few drinks later and a catch up we all went to bed in our bunks.
Our cabin was called Twin Brooks which meant we woke up to the sounds of trickling water instead of city traffic and loud neighbors. We had access to our very own outhouse and cooked breakfast including tea on the outdoor concrete grill provided.
Dippikill is run and owned by the University at Albany-SUNY. Cabins start at $120 for a three night stay for four people. Its largest cabin sleeps 25 people at $850 per weekend. If you are a University at Albany undergrad student you receive a discounted price, otherwise you must be a guest of a University staff person or alumni to stay there. The retreat has ten campsites total and the larger cabins do have electricity. They have a heated bath house, but for those who only need to use the restroom – outhouses are located at each cabin. Upon arrival they fill your wood bin with plenty of wood, but one of the duties as a guest is for you to chop and fill up the wood bin before departing. This is where the trip got wild for us. Collectively we thought it was insane for them to expect four girls to chop trunks of wood. Axes and wedge provided we would chop wood every chance we got because we were using up so much of the previously provided pieces.
Other activities include Dippikill’s four hiking trails and canoeing on the Dippikill pond – and of course plenty of wood chopping. We also brought our own activities such as cards, tequila and music, however, no wifi is available, after all, the idea is to unplug. We arrived as city slickers and left feeling like Paul Bunyan – day dreaming about when we can go back.
Until our next adventure.